Armstrongs Tips for a Bespoke Garden

Every person deserves a garden they can be proud of, and definitely something bespoke. In today’s blog, we will be giving you our best tips on how to create the perfect bespoke garden for you and your home. This will involve tips about cut stone, aggregate and concrete and how these can all be used in your own garden. Here are Armstrongs tips for a bespoke garden.

What makes a bespoke garden?

Bespoke gardens are special. They are personal, particular and tailored to the owner’s needs and also their pleasures. A garden is made bespoke when the owner uses their creativity and initiative to turn it into what they want. Bespoke gardens may contain certain features and/or functions which you may not find in any other garden.

Waddington Fell Stone- garden features

How can you make your garden bespoke?

You can create a bespoke garden by using different materials and features to make it look how you want. Receiving information from professionals will help you to understand and be able to turn your vision into a reality. Armstrongs offer a range of products which can be used in gardens to make them bespoke.

What Armstrongs have to offer to make a garden bespoke?

As mentioned previously, Armstrongs offer a range of products and services to help create the perfect bespoke garden for you. To lay a foundation, we have the best ready mix concrete in the North West to bring straight to you. We know exactly what goes into our mixes, so we can guarantee 100% top quality ready mix concrete to be used to create a clean and durable driveway for your garden.

minstone house project

We also offer smaller aggregate which can be used for driveways, paths or simple features to add to your garden. Our larger aggregate can be used in gabion baskets. Gabion baskets are metal wired baskets filled with 150mm sized aggregate. These can be used to create a wall in your garden and look different to the ordinary stone or brick wall.

We also offer cut stone products and services to offer anybody who may want to add a new piece of bespoke furniture or decoration to their garden. Tables, benches and other decorative pieces are available from Armstrongs which can be used in your own space. Our products are bespoke because they are what you want. We will create the perfect mix of concrete for your needs and help you select the suitable aggregate for the job. We even create your own personalised cut stone feature, looking exactly the way you want it. Armstrongs Tips for a bespoke garden- Waddington Fell Stone- garden features

Tips on how to look after your bespoke garden?

When cleaning a stone bench or table, the best way is to wipe down the surface with warm soapy water with a cloth. Kitchen detergent is perfectly fine if you happen to have some lying about. This will remove any residue that could stain. Moreover, to leave a streak free finish to your bench, use a dry, clean cloth and dry the area.

Now, a tip for concrete. If you have a concrete path or driveway, avoid using harsh chemicals such as de-icers. These can eat away at the surface of the concrete, causing it to gradually deteriorate. Therefore, if available, use sand for traction on icy or slippery paths and driveways for traction. At Armstrongs, we offer a varied range of aggregate, including 0-2mm sand. For more information about this product, visit the Our Products page HERE

Do you want to get more information the products and services we have to offer here at Armstrongs or want some help? Contact us HERE.

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A day with Bolton Lads & Girls Club

For those who have never heard about the Bolton Lads & Girls Club, it is a youth club and is a registered charity based in Bolton. They focus on helping young people get on track, building their own foundations and brightening their futures. Bolton Lads & Girls Club welcomes many different opportunities for young people to be able to improve their career journeys.  Today’s blog is all about A day with Bolton Lads & Girls Club.

We wanted to get involved with the Bolton Lads & Girls Club as we always want to give back to the community and do whatever we can to help. We had visited them previously towards the end of 2018 to see how we could get involved with supporting them. It was suggested that we could support their “Get A Job” initiative. The initiative sees a group of local young people go to local businesses. Here they will see what employment opportunities are available and how you get into those opportunities. On Wednesday 13th February we had the privilege to welcome the first cohort from BLGC to our Montcliffe Quarry.

A day with Bolton Lads & Girls Club at Montcliffe Quarry

Up at Montcliffe quarry, we met with the BLGC cohort at 10.30am. After a quick health and safety demonstration we set off into the quarry.

Aggregate Production

At first, the young cohort was shy but as soon as we got into the quarry they started to get involved. They saw first hand the full aggregate production process. We had just had a blast that yielded 4 thousand tonnes of stone that very morning. They witnessed an excavator loading up the dumper truck. This then transported the stone to the other side of the quarry. At the other side of the quarry we stood for nearly an hour taking in the surroundings. We watched on as the dumper truck deposited the stone.

Two Hitachi excavators then worked to pick the stone into smaller pieces. One had a picker attachment to act as a drill to separate the stone into smaller sizes. Another used a large metal ball, dropping it from great height onto the stone below, to break into smaller pieces. The excavators would then load them into the crusher.

Once the crusher had crushed the stone into aggregate it was then transported by a wheel loader to be screened. Our young cohort watched on as the screener separated the stone further into piles, sorting them by size. Finally another wheel loader would load our tipper wagons with the crushed aggregate as they arrived, ready to transport them to their next locations, such as our AMIX concrete plant.

Up Close With An Excavator

We stood in silence for a while watching the process before getting up close with a Hitachi Excavator. We took a look at the cab, as well as the size and a variety of attachments for the hydraulic arm.

Bolton lads & girls club at montcliffe quarry

All of a sudden it was as if we had a different set of young people with us, they had come out of their shells. The young cohort had started asking questions, telling us about their interests and showing a genuine interest in our quarry. At this moment we asked them what their ideal job in the quarry would be. The resounding answer was to be an excavator operator. However this was just because of how fun it looked to drop the metal ball from such heights!

Carly, who is a member of BLGC, said “I learned a lot about the history of the quarry and all the uses for the stone and rocks that are produced

On the way back we were treated to a drive by from Mayson and we shared the history of the fantastic machine along with a quick history of our other 70 wagons.

Highlighting Career Opportunities

For us, it was important to highlight the jobs that we have on offer. As well as the jobs that make our business operate as smooth as possible. Not only do we have workers in our quarries but also in our head office too. At our quarries we have jobs ranging from drivers to ground workers. At our head office you can find HR, Accounts, Transport, sales and marketing teams.

A Meeting with the Blast Master

Once we had made it back to the start of our tour we were treated to a hands on blast master class from our blast master, Alan.

Hands on demonstration Bolton lads & girls club at montcliffe quarry

Alan has been the blast technician at Armstrongs for 4 years but has over 20 years experience in quarrying. On the day of the visit from BLGC, Alan had been on site preparing for our blast at 10am since 4am that morning.

Alan took the time to answer any questions about blasting the cohort had before providing a hands on demonstration. Armed with his wiring and a handy little device, he took the care and time to show how we approach a blast. Alan encouraged each one of our young people to take turns in pressing the spark button and create a mini blast through the wiring.

Blast master Alan, Bolton lads & girls club at montcliffe quarry

After this encounter we took the time to ask the young people if they had changed their minds about the type of jobs they wanted. It would come as no surprise that they were all firmly fixed on wanting to become our next blast master!

Charlotte, another member of BLGC, particularly enjoyed it saying “It was a fun and interesting session and I enjoyed firing the detonator and it was much louder than I was expecting it to be”.

Final thoughts

Being firmly active and involved in our communities is something that we are proud of. We are incredibly humbled to be able to support Bolton Lads & Girls Club in their “Get A Job” initiative. After the session we asked Andy Simms from BLGC to provide some information and feedback on the initiative.

Working with a family run local business to provide young people with an opportunity to see and experience what the business does. How it operates both on the front line and behind the scenes and also the history of the family. The stories from staff that can be told to help inspire the young people we work with is invaluable. For me it’s a more real experience for the young people who are hopefully more able to relate to these business. Id like to thank all at Armstrongs for their time in helping us on our projects with young people here at BLGC

We’d like to thank BLGC for choosing us as one of their local businesses. They will be joining us again, with their second cohort, in early March. You will see more about that trip on our website in the coming weeks.

For more information about the support we offer to our communities you can contact us here.

You can also keep up to date with Armstrongs across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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The Armstrongs Values

The Armstrongs Values are a set of values we life by at Armstrongs Group. They inform our decision making and influence our recruitment process. The Armstrongs values are made up of: Safety, Responsibility, Customer Focus, be team orientated, be performance driven and entrepreneurial.

The Armstrongs Values


At Armstrongs, Health and safety plays a big part across our six sites because moving tonnes of aggregates requires heavy machinery and heavy machinery requires health and safety. As a result, Armstrongs have a wide range of health and safety protocols to protect our employees and our environments.


We encourage our employees to take responsibility of their work. We want them to be proud of their work and be responsible for themselves and the safety of others at all times. For instance, giving our staff autonomy allows for them to take pride in the production of our aggregates.

Customer Focus

We have a high focus on our customer experience. From our welcoming customer service to our vast knowledge on our products and services we aim to put the customer at the heart of everything we do. As a result of this, we continuously welcome back repeat customers into our Armstrongs family.

Team Orientated

We really believe in teamwork at Armstrongs. Our teams work tirelessly for each other  across our quarries, stone yard, AMIX batching plant and offices.. The Armstrongs family is exactly that, a family. With sites across Lancashire and Cumbria we value team work as our most important value. Because of this it allows us to work together to create high quality stone produce, from Ready Mix Concrete to Cut Stone, and from our quarries to our drivers.

Performance Driven

We look for all our staff to be performance driven, striving for their best efforts whilst providing high quality service and maintaining our Armstrongs high standards. We have strict quality control standards and encourage our staff to always deliver their best, for instance.


We encourage everyone at Armstrongs to be entrepreneurial in their work ethic. Because of this we promote positivity and always welcome new ideas.

If you think you have the values we hold so importantly and are interested in joining our team then get in touch today here.

You can find a list of our current vacancies here.

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Armstrongs and The Environment

This week we are talking about Quarrying and the environment.  Armstrong Group are committed to providing a quality service in a manner that ensures a safe and healthy workplace for our employees. We aim to minimise our potential impact on the environment. We operate in compliance with all relevant environmental legislation and we will strive to use pollution prevention and environmental best practices in all we do.


In this respect we will make every effort to:

  • Safeguard and enhance natural habitats and species and preserve the nature and character of the local area.
  • Support environmental initiatives that improve health and well being.
  • Encourage the reduced consumption of natural resources and energy.
  • Operate a purchasing policy that avoids the use of environmentally damaging products.
  • Comply with environmental legislation and ensure that our contractors do likewise.
  • Commit appropriate levels of staff and financial resources to deliver the aims of our environmental policy.
  • Integrate the consideration of environmental concerns and impacts into all of our decision making and activities.
  • Promote environmental awareness among our employees and encourage them to work in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • Train and educate our employees about environmental issues that may affect their work.
  • Reduce waste through re-use and recycling. By purchasing recycled, recyclable or re-furbished products and materials where these alternatives are available, economical and suitable.
  • Promote efficient use of materials and resources throughout our facility including water, electricity, raw materials and other resources, particularly those that are non-renewable.
  • Avoid unnecessary use of hazardous materials and products, seek substitutions when feasible, and take all reasonable steps to protect human health and the environment when such materials must be used, stored and disposed of.
  • Where required by legislation or where significant health, safety or environmental hazards exist, develop and maintain appropriate emergency and spill response programmes.
  • Communicate our environmental commitment to clients, customers and the public and encourage them to support it.
  • Strive to continually improve our environmental performance and minimise the social impact and damage of activities by periodically reviewing our environmental policy in light of our current and planned future activities.

Armstrongs and the environment: Health and safety sign at Brinscall Quarry

For more information on our work to sustain the environment, as well as our corporate responsibilities, click here.

You can contact us directly here or call us on 01204 668021 for any more information or enquiries.

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